Hurricane Irene – Does Anybody Understand the Coverage?

Like so many, I cannot help but tune into coverage on Hurricane Irene. It is an event that might cause hardship to so many people by way of power outages, flooding, tornado’s and more.

The problem? I am struggling to take it seriously when watching the coverage on The Weather Channel, Local News—really, any Television Network…Especially when those covering it look like Human Condoms in their plastic rain gear.

Because my Aunt Kate lives in Virginia, I checked in with her. (We talk every day—not just when the weather is inclement.)

Me: Have you watched the hurricane coverage?

Aunt Kate: Did you see the Red Cone? We’re in it.

Me: Yes. But WHAT does it mean?

Aunt Kate: I CANNOT watch any more of it…I don’t really KNOW what it means!!

Me: Oh, thank goodness. I keep watching, but I’m not getting it. I am not understanding what the people on TV are saying.

Aunt Kate: It’s going to be WINDY. And WET.

Me: Yes.

Aunt Kate: I’m not sure how windy, or how wet. Nobody is sure, from what I gather…

We established that she had food, gas in the cars, money and was up on the latest news and strategies…

Aunt Kate: I don’t know what else to do. But I cannot watch the coverage any more.

And I was relieved to have company in being confused by the coverage…mainly because of those delivering the coverage. They distract me. Admittedly, that isn’t hard to do. I am easily distracted.

The Meteorologists look like Human Condoms in their funny colored plastic rain gear, zipped up tight with only a round faces showing. They talk really fast, doubled over in winds gusting too hard for them to stand up. I cannot understand them because they speak bent over at the waist, whilst being pelted by rain…

The Human Condoms might be easier to understand without the interruption in satellite signal that freezes the screen or if they spoke at a normal speed. Their adrenaline seems jacked up from being in the middle of horribly dangerous conditions. They begin speaking normally but soon get lathered up—and their words come tumbing-out-making-it-impossible-to take-in…(Frozen TV Screen Pause) what/they/are/saying/about/the/storm…

I think that the technical jargon spews out, because the Human Condoms get all wound up while trying to explain.  They do so in terms that mean nothing to normal viewers…

Nautical Miles, Maximum Sustained Wind, Millibar Numbers, Pressure Systems, Hand Held Anemometers, Eye Walls…


At one point, Al Roker came on air and went into great detail in how to use Google Earth to check ones elevation levels to decide  whether to evacuate. Or move to higher ground.


Storm Surges, High Tide, Low Tide, Erosion, Bands Rotating In, Tropical Downpours, Gale Force Winds, Wind Gauges, TorCon Index Numbers…

Who knew that Storm Chasers were dispatched? Is that a real job??

From the slumped over Human Condoms, most news stations pan back to the Perfectly Pressed People sitting comfortably in the newsroom in full make-up, wearing concerned expressions, every hair in place—urging the Human Condoms to take shelter and be safe…That is beyond my limit!

Is there a place to safely take shelter in the eye of a hurricane? 

And the coverage is speculation. Lots of experts guessing what is going to happen, how wet, how windy it is going to be, how extensive the damage might be, who is going to be affected, to what degree, which areas will flood.

There is value in this coverage and in the expertise of weather forecaster’s, because without them, there would surely much more destruction. Their calculations and knowledge save lives. Because of advanced technology, there are evacuations and we all have time to prepare for catastrophic weather-related events.

Mixed into the reports, there IS useful information. Text message, cell phone tower explanation, Evacuations (subway, airport and other closures…) But it is hard to stay with the coverage, to weed those items out.

If I were closer to the Red Cone, I am sure I would go online, research and gather my preparation checklist—and form my plan.

Rather than listen to the Human Condoms out in the elements—analyzing the size of the Red Cone vs. size of the Wind Field. Huh?

All the dire warnings that those who stayed in evacuation zones were on their own had me questioning who rescues the Human Condoms? Who is going to fish them out of the pounding rain, hunkered down in the wind–Hand Held Anemometers waving in air trying to measure the winds that they cannot stand up in???

Does it matter? If one CANNOT STAND, then the wind is moving FAST.

Fast enough to get out of there!!

Then there was Al Roker…doing coverage with surfers behind him. Telling people ‘not to do that,’ noting that there are already reports of surfers who have lost their lives.

Kind of like sitting a child down at a table filled with cookies to watch others eat cookies…then saying “Don’t eat them. They are bad for you…”

Clearly people are suffering, there is much chaos and devastation from this hurricane. And do I plan to go online today, to research whether there is any way I can help out in some small way.

That seems a bit more productive than watching the news coverage…